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Massachusetts House Speaker David Bartley (D-Holyoke) has appointed a six-man commission to make another stab at one of the state's favorite sports: trying to get Harvard Stadium opened for use by the Boston Patriots football team.
The Patriots-who now play in the cramped quarters of Boston College's Alumni Stadium-must find a 50,000 capacity stadium for next season, or the American Football League will no longer let them play in Boston.
In what has become virtually an annual event, however, the last session of the state legislature defeated a bill to build the Patriots a permanent stadium because the legislators could not agree on plans for financing the stadium. As has also become customary, the legislature then tossed the ball to Harvard, approving Bartley's proposal to have a commission open negotiations with Harvard on the matter.
Harvard has always refused such requests in the past, arguing that letting the Patriots into the stadium even on a "temporary" basis would only slow up whatever impetus exists to build a new stadium, and would cause damage to the field and traffic congestion in the Allston area adjacent to it.
The membership of the commission was announced this week, and the chairman, Rep. David Harrison (D.-Gloucester) said he would immediately seek an appointment with President Pusey to talk about the stadium.
He admitted, however, that the prospects didn't seem bright: "From what little I've heard. Harvard isn't very interested in taking in the Patriots." Yesterday, Harvard officials said that Harrison has not yet approached President Pusey for an appointment.
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